- Things I first saw as junk here I’m now seeing as gold: plastic bags from the grocery store. At home, we save them until they take up half a closet and then pitch them because of the nuisance they’ve become. I have had to keep my eyes open for plastic bags this summer because I didn’t bring anything to carry my things around. And yesterday, we needed to tie shoes together so pairs wouldn’t get separated in the shoe pantry; solution: tear plastic bags, that we had just designated as “trash” because they had holes in them, into strips to use as ties.
- Large pill bottles become water bottles.
- Paper doesn’t enter the trash until both sides of it are completely full; where else where you write notes? I came across a notepad for Christi the other day- she was so excited!
- Junky boxes when unfolded become a mattress to lie on or a corner of it becomes a fan for church.
- Empty plastic juice bottles become Tupperware and empty tin cans can be used as containers or recycled to make graters, musical instruments, or who knows what else.
- One minute I see a dirty pen cap on the ground; the next minute, I see a brand new whistle for a little boy as he blows through one end of it.
A tote bag, a water bottle, sticky notes, a simple place to sleep, storage containers (for all of our STUFF), toys…These are all so commonplace, things we have in abundance, or things that seem essential. We don’t think twice about them. When we need a plastic bag, we go get one from the closet. When out water bottle gets a little worn, we go buy a new one. When we can’t find the matching Tupperware lid after 2 minutes, we get frustrated and go buy a new stack of Gladware. When our toys stop working, we trash it and then go buy the newest latest and greatest. We do all of this without thinking, without hesitation.
Here, it’s different. When you find a piece of paper with a blank back side- keep it; you’re going to need it soon; thank you, Jesus! An old piece of paper or a small piece of cardboard becomes a fan! Praise the Lord! So simple, but so beneficial! I can’t begin to count the number of times I have needed something so small, something that at home, it would be nothing to go get it or buy it, but here, when I spot it or something that could work for what I need, it becomes a treasure- thank you Jesus! I know this is a gift from You!
When you have less, you begin to understand Jesus more. “The Rich Young Man” (Mk. 10:17-31) turned away sad when Jesus told him that in order to inherit eternal life, he should sell everything he had so he could follow Jesus. The rich man walked away sad realizing all he would have to give up. “The Widow’s Offering” (Mk. 12:41-44) was worth more than what the rich men gave. She had almost nothing but gave everything she had. She gave without thought, without contemplation, without hesitation. It was instinct; it was natural; it was right. How do we become like that? We live with less because then we need God more. When we need God more, we see God more. When we see God more, we understand God more. When we understand God more, we know God more. When we know God more, we need God more.